Henrik Ibsen: Hedda Gabler

BBC Radio 3: Sunday Play

Broadcast: Sunday 18th October 1998 @ 7:30 p.m.

The play is set in Norway, in Jorgen Tesman's house in Christiania (Oslo), during two consecutive days in the Autumn of 1890.

Hedda, recently married to Jorgen Tesman, is exasperated and contemptuous of her husband's smug middle-class attitudes. She admires, but resents, the brilliant scholar Loevborg who has come to town with her old school friend Thea Elvsted; he is in competition with Jorgen for a professional appointment. She amuses herself by flirting with Judge Brack who invites Jorgen and Loevborg to a stag party, where in a drunken stupor Loevborg loses the manuscript of his important new book. Jorgen finds the document and Hedda, secretly enjoying the power of influencing destiny, destroys it. Loevborg is distraught over the loss and Hedda gives him one of her father's pistols and suggests he does away with himself - beautifully. Thea is devastated by the suicide attempt, but she has recovered the original notes of his book and scholar Tesman offers to help reconstruct the manuscript. Brack, who has discovered where Loevborg got the gun, now has Hedda in his grasp, and Tesman is too busy to be concerned. Hedda makes a grave decision.

Translated and adapted for radio by Helen Cooper from Henrik Ibsen's 1890 play, "Hedda Gabler".

With Harriet Walter [Hedda Gabler], Nicholas Farrell [Jorgen Tesman], Jill Balcon [Julia Tesman], Corin Redgrave [Judge Brack], Julie Legrand [Mrs. Thea Elvstead], Michael Feast [Eilert Loevborg], and Merelina Kendall [Bertha]

Music composed by Julie Cooper and performed by Julie Cooper (piano) and Justin Pearson (cello).

Directed by Eoin O'Callaghan.

Re-broadcast on Sunday 16th April 2000 @ 7:30 p.m.

120 min.


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